Color of Pomegranates, The (1969): Parajanov’s Masterwork

A fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, The Color of Pomegranates, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork, overflows with indelible images and sounds.

In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, The Color of Pomegranates revives the splendors of Armenian culture through the story of the eighteenth-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative.

The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to block its distribution; there were only rare underground screenings in a restructured form.

This Criterion edition features the cut closest to Parajanov’s original vision, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most enigmatic meditations on art and beauty.

Special Edition Features
* New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New audio commentary featuring critic Tony Rayns
* New video essay on the film’s symbols and references, featuring scholar James Steffen
* New interview with Steffen detailing the production of the film
* Sergei Parajanov: The Rebel, a 2003 documentary about the filmmaker, featuring him and actor Sofiko Chiaureli
* The Life of Sayat-Nova, a 1977 documentary about the Armenian poet who inspired The Color
of Pomegranates
* New English subtitle translation


1969 * 78 minutes * Color * Monaural * In Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio